Summary: Product development requires cross-team collaboration, and tracking multiple revisions through complex processes is difficult. Our automated CAD revision control system makes tracking and executing revisions fast, simple, and error-free – beyond CAD files.
Collaboration is central to how organizations work. With so many hands in the pot, it’s hard to know who does what, especially when it comes to complex product development. With so many departments and team members involved, keeping track of the changes made throughout product development lifecycle is no easy feat.
The Upchain Approach
We approach revision control a little differently. CAD software and PDM solutions like Autodesk Vault include check-in/check-out file CAD revision control as standard. And so do we.
But we take CAD revision control to the next level.
The challenge isn’t controlling CAD data. It’s controlling product data as it cascades into other formats and departments. For instance, if you export CAD data as a bill of materials spreadsheet, you now have two files that need to be in sync but are fundamentally disconnected. Stand-alone assets like service and manufacturing BOMs only exacerbate this problem.
Our cloud PLM solution solves this problem in two ways.
1. File check-in/check-out system
Included in our solution as standard is a file check-in/check-out system for CAD data. Files can only have one person working on a file at a time, and each time the file is checked back in, it goes in as a new revision. Companies can see exactly who changed what, when, and why, and go back to a previous revision whenever they want.
2. Project folders
Our product is based on project folders which can hold any kind of Microsoft Office file like Excel or Powerpoint. And these files are linked with the CAD metadata. So, if you have an exported spec sheet from your CAD design stored in the project folder, and then you update your CAD, your exported spec sheet gets updated too.
The result? Data that’s up to date across the value chain, regardless of what format that data is in.
PLM use results in a 2.9% increase in productivity due to the improved organizational coordination it facilitates.
Our revision control feature also stores all the versions of your work, so you can always revert back to earlier versions if needed. With innovation as a top priority in manufacturing, this feature allows designers to get creative without worrying about losing the original design.
The automated CAD revision control Upchain offers connects the value chain by creating a shared source of truth across departments and suppliers. This solves a big problem for manufacturers: conflicting document versions where it’s not clear which version is right.
We make collaboration simple by automating change requests. This means that as soon as a project manager suggests a revision, product designers are notified and can change the design. This allows mistakes to be caught and fixed during the early stages of product development, saving time and money in the long run.
Revisions and Compliance
Revision tracking is vital in manufacturing to ensure compliance and avoid costly product recalls. The medical device industry is just one example of how imperative revision tracking is during the product life cycle.
The medical device industry experienced a staggering 97% increase in product recalls between 2003 and 2012. The FDA largely blamed this massive amount of recalls to poor revision control during the design process in the face of increasingly complex products.
The FDA estimates that 400 recalls per year could be prevented if manufacturers addressed issues relating to the loss of design control.
Legislation such as the Code of (US) Federal Regulations is in place to prevent recalls from occurring. It states that all revisions throughout product development must be tracked and recorded as a way to increase control during the design process.
With such high stakes, it’s no surprise that we take CAD revision control one step further.
Our CAD revision control simplifies collaboration across the value chain and helps to ensure industry regulations are met with ease through
- Automatic revision tracking. We automatically track when changes are made, what changed, and by who.
- Version storage. We store all design versions and allow you to restore them at any point.
- Automated change requests. We make change management easy.
- CAD synchronization. We update data in other programs when changes in CAD happen.
Image credit: Pablo García Saldaña via Unaplash